Players | Managers | Clubs | Grounds | National Teams | Leagues & Cups
    The Beautiful Game
    Football Stories


Two clubs close to my heart - 15/11/2002

Two clubs close to my heart
Two clubs close to my heart
   Lee Clark
   Steve Howey
   Andy Cole
   Paul Kitson
   Matthew Le Tissier
   David Ginola
   Newcastle United

I’ll be back in the UK on Thursday and unfortunately I’ll be missing the Newcastle Southampton game. Whilst everyone is aware how close I am to everyone at Newcastle – the club, the fans, and the city in general, I also had a great time down in Southampton. Anyway, here’s a few of my recollections from previous Newcastle v Southampton games…

24/10/93 v Southampton (a) 1-2 Premiership

[This was the game in which Lee Clark was substituted and kicked the bucket as he stormed down the touchline...]

Clarkie was in tears all the way home and was desperately upset. He kept asking all the experienced players what he should do and how could he make amends. To start with we all took the piss but soon realised that this was pretty serious and knowing Clarkie's feelings for the club we laid off him. Clarkie kept saying all the way home, "I'm not f***ing going."

[Later that week Andy Cole went missing before a League Cup tie against Wimbledon.]

Andy seemed to be in a particularly bad mood during a training session. We hadn't realised that Keegan had stopped him from going to London to see his mates. He just wasn't trying during a training session and Keegan pulled him up, saying "If you don't want to play for us then you can clear off.” Andy called his bluff slightly and disappeared. We couldn't believe it. The League Cup tie was Ruel Fox's first game for us and Kevin told him that all the previous few days' trouble was not the real Newcastle but if he had second thoughts, he could go back to Norwich and then sign for another club. [Clark and Cole combined to beat Wimbledon in a league game the following Saturday, Fox stayed and the rest is history...] The Le Tissier goals were incredible. I especially remember the winner. He lobbed it over Kevin Scott and then Barry Venison before stroking it past Mike Hooper. I was chasing back and tried to get to the ball before it went over the line. I never really got close but as it went in (and I was devastated) I remember thinking, "That's not a bad goal, though...".

22/03/95 v Southampton (a) 1-3 Premiership

Paul Kitson gave us the lead and with a minute left we were winning 1-0, however in true Newcastle – Southampton style, the final score read Southampton 3 Newcastle 1!

This was the biggest rollocking I ever heard Keegan give us. He really laid into us, especially the International players who he accused of looking to Internation glory instead of concentrating on the most important job - playing for Newcastle. I didn't play that night, with a hamstring strain, but I was in the Director's box and as soon as the final whistle went I legged it down to the dressing room. It was amazing to hear but I was safe in the knowledge that I wasn't to blame.

18/01/97 v Southampton (a) 2-2 Premiership

This was Kenny Dalglish’s first game in charge of United and after findinh ourselves 2-1 with a few minutes to go, we fell again to a late Le Tissier long-range strike

When Le Tissier hit the equaliser, the ball flew just past my ear and I remember thinking please don't go in. When I turned to see it hit he net, I just couldn't believe it happened AGAIN!!

Before the game Kenny had dropped Ginola to the bench and David was fuming. When Kenny gave the team talk, David sat cross-legged and put on some earphones. He then started filing his nails while Dalglish spoke to us. I was sure Kenny would blow his top but he just blanked Ginola. David didn't go out for the warm-up and kept on his flip-flops carrying his boots out. When Kenny told him to warm-up Ginola said, "I'm ready". After the game he didn't get changed he kept on his kit all the way from the dressing room and onto the plane. Ray Thompson, the kit man, wanted his strip but couldn't get it off him.

Dalglish got his own back some months later. Ginola was given a rigorous fitness test before a game and by the time we arrived he was in the dressing room with the sweat pouring off him having passed the test. Dalglish didn't even give him a place on the bench.

What is your opinion about this article?
Start a new topic at our forum!

Print article


Coporate tickets for NUFC games

Bez announces a corporate hospitality facility to entertain up to eight people during every home Newcastle United Premiership fixture. For further details please click on the link... [More]